All people currently residing in the state of Alabama need to get back to New York right away because Spring has sprung and with it, sandwiches. This saucy catfish delight comes from Num Pang, a little Cambodian storefront sandwich shop on E. 12th St. You order from a window facing the street, and then you can enter into a narrow little vestibule to watch them make your sandwich. A spiral staircase leads to a casual seating room upstairs, but being that it was a sunny day (another one!) we took the sandwiches to Union Square for a picnic.
This was a fabulous sandwich. The catfish was very fresh and lightly panfried -- just enough to create a slightly crusty exterior, especially along the edges of the cut. It was slathered with a chili mayo -- mayonnaise mixed with sriracha, my friend speculated -- and combined with cucumber, fresh cilantro, and pickled carrots. The bread was a real standout -- a perfect mini-baguette from Parisi bakery, golden on the outside and soft within. The size of the sandwich was perfect -- big enough to be filling (and cost appropriate) -- but not sickening like some monstrous deli sandwiches.
Other enticing flavors that warrant future visits include: coconut shrimp; chinese eggplant and cauliflower, and Spanish mackerel with leeks.